Șerban Filipon is a legal adviser by profession and has worked over the past 10 years as a public procurement consultant. His work mainly relates to the implementation of public procurement procedures and to the provision of public procurement policy advice in particular within projects financed by the EU, and, more recently, in projects financed by the Australian Agency for International Development.
He was awarded the degree of Master of Science in Procurement Management, with distinction, by the University of Strathclyde (UK), has an LLB from the University of Bucharest (Romania), and a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Business Law from the Academy of Economic Studies (Romania).
He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS) since 2008, and a member of the Romanian Legal Advisers Professional Organisation since 2004.
Thesis title: Non-traditional regular purchase arrangements
Supervisors: Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Lecturer Annamaria Lachimia
Recent years have exhibited an impressively increasing use and recognition at an international regulatory level of procurement methods specifically dedicated for recurrent purchase requirements. While such arrangements have been in place for decades in some countries or systems, during the past ten years there has been a significant increase of the geographical coverage of their use, as well as of their frequency and purchase value.
In dealing with recurrent procurement needs, a reactive attitude could be to organise a separate and full procurement exercise each and every time a regular procurement need arises (the 'traditional' approach). However, this is likely to be time consuming and to involve an administrative burden that is unnecessarily heavy, to name just some of the potential shortfalls. By contrast, procurement entities may a take a more proactive approach by seeking to aggregate estimated recurrent needs into a single larger and longer term procurement arrangement, on the basis of which a number of procurement contracts or orders are then awarded, as and when needs become actual and fully specifiable (the 'non-traditional' approach).
Such 'non-traditional' regular purchase arrangements involve two stages. The first stage is initiated before the needs become actual and fully specifiable, on the basis of an estimation of future recurrent needs, and consists in going through a number of procedural stages, and/or the establishment of a number of procurement terms, but not all. Classic examples of terms that may not be established during the first stage (because they are not known with precision at that time) are quantities, or delivery places, but may also include many others, even prices. Once specific recurrent needs become actual and fully specifiable, the second stage of the arrangement comes into play where procurement orders or contracts are awarded on the basis of the steps taken and/or terms established beforehand.
Procuring entities use arrangements as those described above to achieve various benefits, such as reductions of the procurement lead times and of aggregated procedural costs, better terms, enhanced or more agile supply conditions, economies of scale, administrative convenience, security of supply and others. However, an improper regulation, design or administration of such arrangements may easily detract from achieving these benefits by affecting competition among firms, facilitating collusion, remaining stuck with (unfavourable) terms that no longer reflect the open market, etc.
'Non-traditional' regular purchase arrangements come in a very wide variety of configurations in different countries or procurement systems. This research examines and compares the way in which such arrangements are dealt with and regulated under a varied selection of relevant public procurement systems, including the US Federal Procurement system, the EU law system, UNCITRAL, IBRD, and three EU Member States. The aim of the research is to provide in-depth and cross-system considerations as to how certain features of a 'non-traditional' regular purchase arrangement, certain regulatory norms or certain decisions taken during an award procedure in a certain procurement context may promote or detract from the achievement of the stated benefits that such the arrangement in questions actually seeks.
On this basis guidance is to be generated by the research for states or other organisations wishing to introduce or up-date their regulatory instruments concerning 'non-traditional' regular purchase arrangements, as well as for practitioners in their day-by-day activities for instances when the applicable regulations may be silent, inconsistent, or contradicting. It is also considered that the outcome of the research will contribute to the academic knowledge by offering a more structured perspective on what currently is a very varied phenomenon. The current author believes that while regulatory instruments might not, on their own, always ensure an appropriate and beneficial use of 'non-traditional' regular purchase arrangements, they can facilitate such uses to a significant degree, if adequately adapted to the procurement context to which they apply and the objectives pursued.
Funding source: School of Law Scholarship and self-funded
SERBAN FILIPON, The Winding Road from Policy Objectives and Procedural Rules to Practical Reality - An Overview of Framework Agreements and Electronic Procurement under the New UNCITRAL Model Law In: Public Procurement: Global Revolution VI Conference, Nottingham, UK, 24-25 June 2013.
SERBAN FILIPON, The Romanian Experience with Interim Measures and Automatic Suspension In: Inaugural Conference on Public Procurement Regulation in Emerging Economies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 09 August 2010.
The Romanian Experience with Interim Measures and Automatic Suspension In: Public Procurement: Global Revolution V Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 09-10 September 2010.